How to Talk Yourself Through a Panic Attack
A panic attack is one of the strangest sensations out there and it can feel different to different people. Some of the more common symptoms are: a racing and heavy heartbeat, feeling like you’re not getting enough air and feeling like something terrible is happening to your body. Others report sensations like feeling like you’re in a dream, feeling detached from situations around you, feeling physically week and chest pain. It’s important to be assessed by a healthcare provider to rule out other conditions if you experience what feels like panic attacks.
There are a number of techniques that can help calm a panic attack. Talking yourself out of panic is a really valuable one. It’s important to plan what you’re going to say to yourself ahead of time. Write down or memorize your self-talk when you’re not having a panic attack. Also remind yourself of the resources you can always turn to if needed (like a doctor, therapist, crisis number, hospital, trusted loved one etc.).
Write down or memorize simple things you can say to yourself that you actually believe. So, if saying “just stay calm, it’ll be ok” to yourself is unhelpful to you, pick something else. Here are some favourites:
This feels exactly like my other panic attacks. It’s nothing new. I can handle it.
These feelings won’t last forever. They’ll pass like they always do and I will be fine.
Feeling like something bad is going to happen is a common feeling in a panic attack. It doesn’t mean that it’s true.
I don’t need to fight this panic attack. It’ll come and it’ll go. I’ll sit with the feelings knowing they can’t hurt me.
Most panic attacks don’t last long even though they feel like they do in the moment. For more free tips on getting through anxiety and panic click HERE.
Dr. Samantha Dass is currently a naturopathic doctor working at Holland Landing Health Centre in East Gwillimbury, Ontario, which services Holland Landing, Newmarket, Aurora, Keswick and Bradford areas. If you are interested in naturopathic services please contact Holland Landing Health Centre at 905-853-7900 or via e-mail at [email protected]